f1f0 on Thu, 29 Apr 1999 19:25:21 +0200 (CEST)

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From:Department of Organic Chemical Technology and Polymers Faculty of
Technology and Metallurgy Belgrade University Belgrade, Yugoslavia

Until yesterday we could attempt to understand, although not accept,
NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia in terms of their military, strategic or
logistic aims, even though some tragic accidents had occurred. 
This changed dramatically in the night from Saturday to Sunday (17 -
18th April, 1999) when NATO deliberately bombed the poly (vinyl chloride)
(PVC) and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plants at Pancevo. Subsequently,
increased atmospheric concentrations, well above the allowed limits (an
unconfirmed report spoke of more than 10 000 times higher values), were
measured in thevicinity of the VCM plant. Also, all day Sunday, the VCM
storage tank was emptied by controlled burning to prevent an even greater
ecological catastrophe. During this process, huge quantities of the
"greenhouse" gas, carbon dioxide, and the acid gas, hydrogen chloride,
were released into the atmosphere As scientists, you will realize the
significance of this irresponsible NATO act. VCM is a colourless,
odourless and tasteless gas which is extremely carcinogenic. PVC was
banned for food packaging because of the ppb quantities of VCM it
contains. It is also known that developed countries have dislocated their
production of VCM and PVC to third world countries because of the extreme
health risks involved. Due to the very precise initial bombing of the
Pancevo Oil Refinery, which disabled the water vapour production unit,
thus preventing the operation of the entire petrochemical complex, it is
obvious that NATO is very well aware of the layout of each individual unit
in the complex and is able to exactly pinpoint its targets. Consequently,
the targeting of the VCM unit was deliberate, although there was no
military or strategic object in the vicinity. Pancevo has 140 000
inhabitants and lies about 15 km from Belgrade which has a population of
over 2 million. The VCM plant is about 5 km from the center of Pancevo.
NATO has continuously stressed that it has no quarrel with the Serbian
people. In view of the events of the night from Saturday to Sunday, the
credibility of this statement must now be questioned. As the spreading of
dangerous and toxic vapors cannot be hindered by international borders,
this new development in the strategy of NATO must be of concern not only
to neighboring countries, but to the complete international community. We
would ask you to ensure, in any way available to you, that this new,
extremely dangerous policy of NATO becomes known to the people of the
world, in the hope that world opinion can stop NATO's action before an
ecological catastrophe results. 

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